How to be the most Epic Intern

There are a few tricks to secure your position as the most epic intern; being punctual is a given, volunteering for undesirable tasks, asking questions and being flexible. Accept the fact that you’re going to make mistakes; it’s all part of the process.

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Everyone who gets the opportunity to participate in an internship wants to be the most epic intern that has ever walked through the door. New Zealand has fantastic internship programmes, which you can secure through university, apply directly to the company, or go through a recruiter. Once accepted, it’s time to put the hard yards in. 

Making a good impression in your chosen industry can impact the development of your career. Internships give you an advantage when applying for future jobs; they show that you have relevant experience in the industry and hopefully a glowing reference to support it. Some of you may be lucky enough to be offered a position within the same company you did your internship. 

There are a few tricks to secure your position as the most epic intern; being punctual is a given, volunteering for undesirable tasks, asking questions and being flexible. Accept the fact that you’re going to make mistakes; it’s all part of the process. Work hard, get involved and enjoy your time as an intern. It’s an incredible opportunity to learn from the best and make connections within the industry. 
Do your Research

The most important part of starting your internship is preparation, which means doing research and understanding the company. Ideally, you should know enough to hold a conversation and ask questions, but you don’t need to be an expert. Showing genuine interest in the business will make you stand out for many reasons. By arriving prepared and up-to-date with the company work, you will show initiative and an eagerness to learn; this is a great way to make a first impression. 


Time Management

If you’re not early, you’re late. Time management is an essential skill that will benefit you throughout every area of life. Turning up early for work allows you to prepare for the day ahead and allows time for any unforeseen issues that may arise. It also shows that you are motivated, reliable and enthusiastic – which are all great qualities of an epic intern. Time management will help you organise and make the most out of your day. By allocating time to each task, you’ll be more efficient and focused. 
 


Watch and Learn

Internships are the perfect opportunity to learn through experience, absorb every second of it and take every opportunity to progress further. By watching experienced professionals, you’ll begin to understand how the industry works and interact with colleagues. You’ll start to develop an awareness of what needs to be done and can take the initiative to work independently. This skill will make you stand out amongst the sea of interns; you’ll be trusted to manage yourself and your workload. 


Be Flexible

Internships are all about making a lasting impression, and this placement could potentially land you a job in the future based on your professional performance. That means going above and beyond, being flexible and reliable. If asked to stay late or come in early, do so; this is a great way to display your work ethic and dedication to the internship and the company. Flexibility won’t always mean start and finish times; it can mean helping out in different company areas and other projects. 
 

Self-Care

Internships can be very demanding; while it’s great to be flexible with the hours you work and the jobs you do, it’s also essential to keep on top of self-care. To present the best version of yourself during your internship, you need to ensure you’re getting enough sleep, eating healthy meals, exercising and socialising outside of work – especially if the internship period is long-term. Being an intern can be stressful, and that’s no secret, but it’s not supposed to result in burn-outs. Taking time to look after yourself will benefit you and your work in the long run; you can also reach out if you need additional help.
 

Ask Questions

Always ask questions, whether it’s as simple as asking for directions; it’s best to know the correct answer instead of guessing. Make notes of crucial information; that way, you won’t have to ask again. Take advantage of this opportunity; being an intern exposes you to an abundance of experienced professionals with a wide variety of knowledge regarding your chosen profession. Use this time to expand your knowledge and learn from those around you. By being inquisitive, you’ll display an eagerness to learn. 
 

Enjoy the Experience

Internships can be hard work; juggling your workload while you’re trying to make a good impression can be overwhelming. Try and enjoy the internship experience; this opportunity was created to prepare interns for careers in their chosen field. This is a great way to narrow down the areas of your career that you enjoy and those that you don’t. Fully embrace the experience, make connections with colleagues and embed yourself within the company’s social hub. There’s nothing more inspiring than working with someone who genuinely enjoys their job. A positive attitude and eagerness to work can make a world of difference.


Set Goals

It’s essential to set internship goals; knowing what you want to achieve from your internship will help you stay focused and motivated. Setting goals has many benefits; it provides a long-term vision within your career, and it helps organise and prioritise time management. Your goals should be attainable yet challenging; they will help show your progression throughout your internship. This tip is purely for yourself and won’t be critiqued; it will be a personal goal, the size and significance will depend on each individuals’ aspirations.
 

Participating in an internship is the perfect opportunity to set the tone for your professional career. Being memorable and falling under the epic intern umbrella isn’t as difficult as it may seem, and by wanting to excel, you’re already halfway there. Keep organised, don’t stop learning and improving, take the initiative and enjoy the experience for what it is. 
 
-  Shannel Milne, Nxtstep Content Writer

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